Having a Pet Benefits your Health!

I found this info in an article in the May 2013 Women’s Health magazine, and although we all know there are health benefits to owing a pet, it was interesting to see just how many there are.  They say that you should laugh many times a day, and I can tell you, my dog and two cats are the source of much fun and laughter at my house!

Mood – Cuddling with your cat or dog can trigger your brain to release oxytocin, and other “happy” and “love” brain chemicals.  Cat & dog owners are less lonely and have higher morale than non-owners.They say that having something to take care of can also give folks who have lost their meaning in life reason to get out of bed in the morning.  Any dog owner can tell you that staying in bed is NOT an option!

Stress – Being with your dog for 5 minutes can lower your levels of cortisol a stress hormone, which can also lead to better sleep.

Pain Relief – Research suggests that spending time with pets may help ease pain.

Fitness Level – Not only are dog owners more likely to be in shape, but they are also more likely to take part in more vigorous work-outs.  There’s also a social aspect as walking with a dog will lead to many more conversations with fellow walkers than walking alone – and that provides a positive boost to the day!

Heart – Petting an animal, or even watching a fish swim around a tank, can lower your heart rate and blood pressure.  Some research suggests that pet owners may also have lower levels of cholesterol and fatty triglycerides.  One study found that recovery from heart attacks was faster and the likelihood of being alive a year later was higher in dog owners and that cat owners were less likely to die of a heart attack.

With all of these benefits, whether they be physical from all that walking, running around and playing, emotional, or psychological, we should certainly all have pets!  Talk about a life-saver!